Archive for November, 2009

Move from Abundance

Tyler Durdens words of wisdom:

First of all, every minute of this movie has something to teach you, so please go and watch it if you haven’t already. Its based on the novel of the same name, Fight Club.

Now the message? Anti-consumerism! No that isn’t exactly what I’m addressing. But what I can safely say is just about any kind of material good is now available in about any place in North America. Go to any climate controlled shopping centre and you will find entire sections of the mall devoted to home theater equipment, or 30 varieties of cell phones, or 14 different doggie biscuits. You want it? you got it!

And for some reason we’ve gotten so used to this that it doesn’t seem so remarkable anymore. If you told about this world to your grandparents back in the day they would be awestruck. They lived in a world of scarcity, but changes in modern life has resulted in a world of abundance.

Daniel Pink discusses this issue in his book —- A Whole New Mind.

In one of his countless examples he notes that we have so much stuff that an entire industry has been created to cater to this “extra stuff”. Self storage has become a 17 billion annual industry in the US! What does this all mean?

In pop culture, in movies and television shows like Heroes, there is this overwhelming trend of people needing transcendance and meaning in there lives. Were getting richer, better standard of living, but  hasn’t increased our happiness. Exotic practices such as yoga and meditation once thought as very niche subjects in North America have now gone completely main stream.

What does this mean for marketing? This spiritual war that Tyler Durden addresses – this constant consumerism – isn’t going to satisfy the need for meaning. We now desire more. This abundance has resulted in push for more beauty and meaning in the products we buy and companies need to know this to continue.  Its not enough anymore to create a functional product.

Recently I bought a box of Maynards candy and each box bought  goes toward a brick in constructing a school in Africa. I love it!  Not only am I rotting my teeth but its helping people improve there lives. Now I bought the box of candy cos I love the candy, but when I read that its going towards something greater that made me feel good.   A company that promotes this form of social entrepreneurship creates a story that there consumers will share with one another.

I want to purchase shoes from TOMS one day, not only because they make quality shoes, but because the company has meaning. And isn’t this an idea thats worth spreading? In a world of material plenty, we now have more significant desires. Companies who know this will have a huge advantage.

a lesson from cialdini


Kings of influence: Muhammad Ali and The Beatles

Robert Cialdini speaks about Commitment and Consistency in his book Influence: The Power of Persuasion.

There’s a story there about a study conducted on people placing bets at the horse racing track. People were interviewed about their chances on winning – both immediately before, and immediately after placing a bet.

What the researchers found was immediately after they placed their bet, people were more confident in their chances of winning – even though nothing about the race itself had changed.

Why? Because they made the initial commitment. People will go to great lengths to behave consistently with previous actions they have taken.

So whats the practical use of this?  Well ask clients for their feedback on their previous purchase and as soon as possible. This is when customers are most committed to their decision, and it’s the easiest way to get ten star testimonials. Ask while its still fresh in the mind – when they remember how good it felt to get the product from you. Not a few months later when they have possibly forgotten about your product. Booyah.